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Data Storage Systems Center



Kumar Named IEEE Fellow

January 11, 2010

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor B.V.K Vijaya Kumar has been elected an IEEE Fellow for his contributions to biometric recognition methods.

A 1980 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University's electrical engineering PhD program, Kumar and his students are developing correlation filter-based methods to match live biometric signatures (like face and iris images) with stored templates. Specifically, their work focuses on enabling these matches in the presence of significant appearance variability, like changes in illumination and differences in expression. The correlation filters Kumar's research group has developed have performed very well in the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology's Face Recognition Grand Challenge (FRGC) and Iris Challenge Evaluation (ICE).

In addition to his research on biometric recognition, Kumar also works on coding and signal processing for data storage. As areal density increases, bits and tracks become closer — causing increased interference and noise. Kumar's research group develops advanced coding and signal-processing methods to provide reliable detection of digital data stored on various media. Projects in Kumar's research group have considered advanced coding and signal processing methods for high-density magnetic recording systems, holographic data storage systems, and two-dimensional magnetic recording (TDMR) systems. His group is also investigating the use of low density parity check (LDPC) codes for data storage.

Prior to earning his PhD from Carnegie Mellon, Kumar received both B. Tech. and M. Tech. degrees from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India. He joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty as an assistant professor in 1982, was named an associate professor in 1987 and became a full professor in 1991. During his tenure at Carnegie Mellon, he's advised more than 40 PhD students and 30 master's students, published four books, contributed to nearly 20 book chapters, delivered almost 100 invited talks, and published about 160 journal articles and more than 325 articles in conference proceedings.

Professor Kumar holds five patents and has been named a fellow of the Optical Society of America, SPIE (the International Society of Optical Engineering), and the International Association of Pattern Recognition. He's received numerous awards, including the Carnegie Institute of Technology Outstanding Research Award and the Philip Dowd Fellowship, the Eta Kappa Nu award for Outstanding Faculty in Carnegie Mellon's ECE Department, and shared honors for the Best Student Paper Award from the Data Storage Technical Committee of the IEEE Communications Society.

For more on Kumar's work, visit

Data Storage Systems Center / Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890 / Phone: 412-268-6600 / Fax: 412-268-3497